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The Best Pet-Friendly Fitness Classes

Fat dog, fat owner? Not necessarily. But if you move too little and weigh too much, there’s a good chance your pooch does, too. In fact, 52.5 percent of U.S. dogs are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention’s 2012 National Pet Obesity Survey. But a new trend could help both you and your four-legged friend shape up together:A growing number of fitness classes across the country are offering fun workouts for people and their pets.

Like humans, dogs benefit from any kind of physical activity, says Tricia Montgomery, founder and president of K9 Fit Club, a Hinsdale, IL-based fitness club for dog owners. And when that tail starts wagging, owners find the motivation they need to make regular exercise a routine.

Sure, there’s no proven correlation between the health of a dog and that of its owner. But a more fit and happy you will likely rub off on your pooch and keep his behavior in check, says Montgomery. Even better: Unlike your other workout buddies, dogs never work late, sleep in, or choose “drunch” over a Sunday morning fitness class. So schedule aworkout for you and Sparky at one of these fun places across the country:

K9 Fit Club’s Boot Camp You don’t need hand weights or resistance bands to break a sweat in K9 Boot camp classes, which are taught by fitness and animal trainers. Just scoop up your small dog to do bicep curls, or place your larger dog’s paws on your knees during a wall squat. The 55-minute classes put your strength and agility to the test and promise a heart-pumping workout for you and your dog—not to mention quality time together. $15 per class; various locations in Illinois, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Florida—and more coming soon

Thank Dog Bootcamp Inspired by Barry’s Bootcamp for humans, Thank Dog Bootcamp combines fitness and obedience training for you and your furry friend. Run by one personal trainer and one physically-fit dog trainer, the course begins with a mandatory consultation to assess you and your pup’s fitness levels. In each hour-long session thereafter, you torch calories and sculpt lean muscle while your dog learns who’s boss (you). $50 mandatory consultation, $25 per class with discounts for bulk packages or $18 per class to “borrow” a dog; Los Angeles, CA

Bootcamp at FitDog Austin Some fitness classes for pets focus more on training your pet than training you. But if you want to sprint, strengthen your core, improve your balance, and actually break a sweat, FitDog Austin is the answer. While you can bet you’ll leave with a damp shirt, your dog will walk away extra bendy: The class includes dog stretches and tricks. $12 per class; Austin, TX

The Pack Fitness Doga Yoga To improve you and your dog’s balance, flexibility, and strength, practice downward facing dog with an actual downward facing dog. The class begins with a walk and flows into a 45-minute yoga class with some doggy massage to leave you both feeling Zen. $12 per class with discounts for bulk packages; various locations in California

Leash Your Fitness Butts and Guts With Your Mutts This hour-long class sculpts your buns and core from every angle using Bosu balls, TRX, and your own body weight to perform squats, step-ups, and shuffles. Taught by a certified fitness instructor, the class emphasizes fitness for people but also promises to mentally and physically exhaust your dog with constant commands and movements. Why tire out Toto? A tired dog is a well-behaved dog, says Leash Your Fitness founder Dawn Celapino. When you give a dog a job—even if it’s just sitting down—they have to think, which is way harder than a typical walk around the block.$20 per class with discounts for bulk packages; San Diego, CA

Barking Boot Camp If your dog can sit, stay, and heel, he’s welcome at Barking Boot Camp, a high-energy fitness class that combines resistance training, cardio, “dogstacle” courses, and elements of “doga” (yoga with your dog). $15 per class; New Orleans, LA

Go Fetch Run Cross Training If you’re bored with your regular dog run, your pup probably is, too. Go Fetch Run Cross-Training classes merge cardio, strength training, agility, core work, and a “down and dirty” obstacle course that promises to challenge participants on both ends of the leash. $25 per class; Brooklyn, NY

       

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    K9 Fit Club is a lifestyle company dedicated to creating good health, fitness and wellness of dogs and their people. K9 Fit Club’s proprietary programs offer the time-saving aspect of working out with your dog while in a fun, safe and controlled environment.

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